Israel may withhold as much as 40 percent of Palestinians’ financial revenue should they persist in pushing for a vote on statehood at the United Nations, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said.
“It will be very difficult for us to continue to collaborate with a hostile Palestinian entity,” Steinitz, 53, said in an interview yesterday at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “Maybe we will tell the Palestinians, ‘OK, collect your own tax. Why should we do it for you?’”
Israel collects about $1.2 billion in fees each year for the Palestinian Authority and has withheld the money in the past during disputes with the Palestinians. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have called on President Barack Obama to reduce the Palestinians’ annual $500 million in foreign aid if they proceed at the UN’s September meeting.